Bar Admissions

North Carolina

Education

Duke University, J.D., with high honors; Order of the Coif; Note and Comment Editor, Duke Law Journal

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, A.B.; John Motley Morehead Scholar

Profile

Clients engage John Wester for cases that require discipline and rigorous preparation. John routinely handles cases with a high probability of going to trial, and he often enters a case after it is underway, including at the appellate stage.

John’s trials and appeals encompass corporate governance and shareholder rights disputes, federal securities and ERISA actions, unfair trade practice and trade secret disputes, tax controversies and employment discrimination claims. He has prosecuted and defended numerous class action cases in federal and state courts, with extensive experience in the North Carolina Business Court. John has also served as lead counsel in noteworthy cases reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.

Outside his wheelhouse of business litigation, John has brought and defended cases advancing constitutional issues. He was lead counsel in the North Carolina Supreme Court for Gov. Patrick McCrory and former Govs. James Hunt and James Martin in a successful challenge to the General Assembly's limiting the governor's authority over boards and commissions. In 2018, John was lead counsel for Gov. Roy Cooper in a successful challenge to the General Assembly's proposed constitutional amendment to remove the governor's authority to fill judicial vacancies. 

In 1994, John was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

In 2009-10, he served as president of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Honors & Awards

  • North Carolina State Bar, John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award, 2019
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, North Carolina Lawyers Hall of Fame, 2018
  • Duke Law Alumni Association, Charles S. Rhyne Award for Professional Achievement, 2017
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont and Council for Children's Rights, Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award, 2016
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, commercial litigation, 2003-20; labor & employment, 2005-16
  • The Best Lawyers in America, bet-the-company litigation, appellate practice, commercial litigation, litigation - intellectual property, litigation - labor and employment law, litigation - mergers and acquisitions, litigation - securities, 1993-2021
    • Charlotte Litigation - Securities Lawyer of the Year, 2019
    • Charlotte Litigation - Labor & Employment Lawyer of the Year, 2012, 2013, 2018
    • Charlotte Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year, 2012, 2015
    • Charlotte Litigation - Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year, 2013, 2014 
    • Charlotte Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2011
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, business litigation, 2006-20; Top 10 North Carolina Super Lawyer, 2009-13, 2015; Top 25 Charlotte Super Lawyer, 2013-20
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star, general commercial, labor and employment, intellectual property, securities, antitrust, product liability, 2012-20
  • Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, litigation, 2007-08, 2011, 2013-15, 2019; appellate, 2018-19; employment, 2020

Experience

Experience

News & Events

News

Events

Insights

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow; Judicial Independence Committee, Chair, 2019-present; Task Force on Judicial Independence, Vice Chair, 2018-19; North Carolina Chair, 2004-06
  • Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism, 2014-18
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Appellate Rules Committee, Chair, 2003-05; Committee for Judicial Independence, Co-chair, 2010-14
  • Chief Justice's Commission on the North Carolina Business Court, Appellate Process Committee, Chair, 2002-04
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow

Community Affiliations

  • Legal Aid of North Carolina and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Access to Justice Council, Chair, 2012-present
  • Higher Education Works, Board of Directors, 2019-present
  • Lynnwood Foundation, Board of Directors, 2007-present
  • North Carolina Museum of History, Board of Directors, 2012-present
  • Duke Law School, Board of Visitors, 2002-present
  • University of North Carolina, Board of Visitors, 2004-08
  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Board of Directors, 2006-09
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Board of Directors, 1999-2005
  • Arts & Science Council, Chair, 1988-89
  • ArtsTeach, Inc., Chair, 2000-02
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